There are many wines to drink but a few notable options are meant to be relished on a yacht. There’s a wine for every occasion so make sure you get the right one to complete your perfect onboard experience. Continue reading to find out which wines should be on your shopping list!
Ernest Hemingway once said, “Wine is one of the most civilized things in the world and… offers a greater range for enjoyment and appreciation than, possibly, any other purely sensory thing.” We think that the only thing better than a good glass of wine is a good glass of wine onboard a luxury yacht. Whether entertaining, dining with family, or simply enjoying a glass while watching the sunset, a fine wine adds that little something extra to the time spent on board. In partnership with international wine specialists, we have compiled a list of the top 5 wines to enjoy on a yacht.
Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs 2006
The perfect glass of bubbly for that special onboard celebration, Comtes de Champagne is the jewel in Taittinger’s crown. Without a doubt one of the world’s greatest Blanc de Blancs champagnes (100% Chardonnay), it was also a favorite of James Bond author Ian Fleming. Crafted exclusively from five ‘Grand Cru’ Chardonnay vineyards in the prestigious Côte des Blancs region, this Champagne is only ever produced in exceptional vintages and very small quantities. Only 35 vintages have been produced since the first cuvée in 1952.
“This cuvée is only made in exceptional vintages. It is made up of exclusively grand cru fruit from the Côte des Blancs, 100% Chardonnay, and matured for 8-10 years before release. Loïc Dupont, Taittinger’s cellar master, says the 2006 has been a wonderful surprise, showing profound character and excellent finesse. A nose of toast and salty iodine notes indicate gentle evolution. A very fine mousse introduces the palate of citrus fruit, honeysuckle, and hazelnuts. This is exquisitely layered, rich, and balanced. There is poise in the vein of chalky minerality running through its center. It is a stunning Champagne, weightless on entry, with power and complexity persisting right to the lingering finish.” – David Roberts, Master of Wine, Goedhuis & Co
Pinot Bianco Eichhorn 2018
Dating back 400 years as a wine estate, Manincor – literally translated as ‘hand on heart’ – is one of the greatest wine producers from the Alto Adige in Northern Italy. The current owner, Count Michael Goëss-Enzenberg, took over from his uncle in 1991 and decided to start bottling wine rather than selling grapes to the local co-operatives. This resulted in the construction of a state-of-the-art winery. Today, it boasts not only one of the sleekest cellars but also a fully biodynamic production system, as they believe they need to give back to the vineyards in order to preserve the highest quality of their fruit. Manincor even has its own beehives to help pollinate the vines as well as produce its own wooden barrels and vats from its own oak forest. This 2018 Pinot Bianco Eichhorn is the perfect accompaniment to the fresh ‘catch of the day, prepared by your yacht’s chef.
“The Pinot Bianco Eichhorn highlights the quality level that is attainable these days in the Alto Adige region of northeast Italy. Known locally as ‘Weissburgunder’, the Pinot Bianco grape grown at the cool, breezy Eichhorn site at 300 meters altitude produces a style that combines distinctive Alpine and Mediterranean flavours. Aromas of ripe apple and white blossom lead to a tangy delicious mineral finish. An unmissable high-quality white.” – David Roberts, Master of Wine, Goedhuis & Co
Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru la Maltroie 2017
Bruno Colin’s estate is spread across an impressive 30+ parcels in the Chassagne Montrachet, Puligny Montrachet, and St Aubin regions of Burgundy. Since 2016, it has included the outstanding Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru En Remilly, passed on to him by his retired father Michel. Bruno’s cellar in Chassagne Montrachet is one of the prettiest in the region, and an excellent place to taste the extensive range of wines he makes. The 2017 white needs no accompaniment and is ideal for sipping while taking in the on-deck sunset views with friends.
“This is a premier cru of senior standing, shared amongst some of the finest names in the village. It is located just below the village itself in the heart of the appellation, on deeper soils than some other premier crus. Its ripe nectarine and peach character captures the spirit of great Chassagne. It is deliciously weighted, generous but balanced. The white Côte de Beaune wines have benefitted from 2017’s even growing season. This was a warm but not heat-stressed vintage and they, therefore, have wonderfully bright fruit and citrus minerality.” David Roberts, Master of Wine, Goedhuis & Co
Ribera del Duero 2015
Iconic Spanish wine estate Vega Sicilia needs no introduction; it produces wines to rival the world’s absolute finest. For the last 150 years, it has celebrated the brilliance of Spain’s now highly lauded wine region, the Ribera del Duero. The stunning Alión 2015 is a pure Tempranillo sourced from old vines aged in 100% French oak, whose flavour profile perfectly sits between Ribera del Duero and a Médoc in style. It has a pure beauty and elegance held together in a fine structure. For value, this wine is exceptional and highly recommended, perfect for enjoying during an aft-deck gathering as the heat of the day dies down.
“Beautiful red fruits on the nose, red cherries, touches of graphite and minerals. Freshness. Lots of silkiness, elegance, and class here, with enough fruit to happily support the finely structured tannins which give backbone and depth. Drinking now, but has the potential to develop further. This is highly recommended.” – David Roberts, Master of Wine, Goedhuis & Co.
2ème Cru St Estèphe
For years, Montrose has been in the shadow of its more decadent, flashy neighbour, Cos d’Estournel. Quietly confident, it is a brilliant performer in notably dry, sunny vintages due to its dense clay soil that allows the vines to remain hydrated. New director Jean-Bernard Delmas is a legend amongst the Bordelais, having run Haut Brion and La Mission Haut Brion for 40 years, so quality is only likely to get better and better. The 1996 vintage was one of the most outstanding vintages for the Medoc of the 1990s and is certainly long-lived – although many are just coming into their drinking window, they will comfortably go on for another couple of decades. Such a quality wine needs a similarly luxurious accompaniment, and this red is the perfect pairing for a romantic on-deck dinner of Wagyu beef.
“The 1996 Montrose is a blend of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot picked between 23 September and 6 October. It is that loamy character that defines the nose—freshly tilled, damp soil that tinctures the black fruit —that takes you straight to this particular château. This is classic through and through and very well defined. The palate is wonderful with very fine delineation, pitch-perfect acidity, touches of graphite infusing the red and black fruit that dovetails into a very pretty, floral finish. This is clearly one of the great wines of the 1996 vintage and I would be stocking up as much as I could because it will give 30-40 years of pleasure.” – Neal Martin, Wine Critic